Whiplash is a relatively common problem that can go undiagnosed. Unfortunately, if left untreated, it can lead to serious problems down the road even if the initial symptoms are mild.
If you are a loved one thinks you might be suffering from whiplash, this article will help you determine if the time is right to book a consultation with and Upper Cervical Chiropractor who specializes in the delicate vertebrae and soft tissue in the neck area.
Causes of Whiplash
Although most people think of major car crashes as a cause for whiplash, it may surprise many readers to find out that even minor fender benders can cause this painful condition. In fact, one study found that most whiplash injuries occur in accidents where the speed was less than 14 mph.
And, whiplash is commonly caused from other activities as well. Contact sports, such as football, are one example. Falls are another common cause. Even amusement park rides designed to thrill theme park goers can cause this painful condition.
However, even everyday movements can cause whiplash to occur. For instance, quickly turning your head while tying your shoes, or stretching to reach something high on a shelf can strain the delicate muscles and ligaments in your neck and pull this area out of alignment.
Sometimes compensating from the pain of the original injury itself can do even more damage. It can stress underused muscles and further exacerbate the problem by worsening the misalignment and balance your neck and upper spine needs to stay in optimal condition.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash can vary quite a bit from person to person. They may be noticed as quickly as immediately following the injury, or may not appear until a few days, or in some cases, weeks after the initial injury.
Symptoms of whiplash may include:
- Pain and/or stiffness in the neck
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Pain in the shoulders or arms
- Tingling sensations or numbness in the arms
- Dizziness or feelings of vertigo
- Memory problems
- Changes in mood
- Trouble sleeping through the night
Research has shown that in as many as 10% of cases, people that experience whiplash may later develop auditory issues including tinnitus, deafness and vertigo.
Although it may be confusing at first to understand the connection, it is important to keep in mind that the delicate neck bones, the atlas and axis vertebrae, protect the densest collection of nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord. Left untreated, even very minor misalignments in this area have been known to cause pain and dysfunction across the entire body.
In some cases, the symptoms from whiplash may resolve on their own within a few weeks. However, research shows that in as many as 43% of cases, the pain and other symptoms associated with this condition can persist. Such cases can become chronic whiplash. The same study cited above noted that 93% of patients experiencing chronic whiplash improved under the care of a chiropractor.
It is likely that many cases of chronic whiplash include damage to the central nervous system, either in the neck or in other areas of the spine. This is why getting checked and treated by a chiropractor is a good idea even if the symptoms seem to have resolved in the short term.
Why Choose Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care of Glen Carbon?
If you have been diagnosed or think you may be suffering from whiplash, consider asking your primary care physician to refer you to Upper Cervical Care of Glen Carbon. Many people are not aware that many medical insurance policies will cover chiropractic treatment in such cases.
Upper Cervical Care Chiropractors have all of the training of traditional chiropractors plus the addition of specialized training in the neck area. This are is not only critical to conditions such as whiplash, it is also the area where your brain and spine are connected. This critical area of the central nervous system protects the brain stem, and even minor injuries and misalignments in this area can have far ranging health consequences.
Modern 3D CBCT Imaging
Our doctors make use of the latest medical imaging technology. Known as 3D Cone Beam Scanning (CBCT), we will take very precise 360° images that will reveal even the slightest misalignment (also known as a subluxation) in your neck. This gives our doctors a very precise look at exactly where to make corrections to restore the natural position of your neck following a whiplash injury.
You may have seen chiropractors make large “popping” adjustments to the back on television. When it comes to Upper Cervical Care, corrections are small and precisely guided by imaging. We find that getting your neck into alignment, and holding it there, promotes your body’s natural healing powers. When it comes to whiplash injuries, these gentle corrections as well as some guided stretching will bring this sensitive area of your body back to its natural balance.
Focus on Holistic Wellness
The healing focus of Upper Cervical Care Chiropractors is to unlock your body’s natural healing powers by making sure that your central nervous system, key to all other bodily functions including immunity, tissue healing, and pain reception, is functioning at its best.
You won’t leave the office with a pile of addictive pain killers or facing invasive and dangerous surgeries. Instead, you will find that our professional staff will treat you like a member of the family. We will take a detailed history of not only your injury, but your health as a whole, and provide expert advice with your entire wellbeing in mind. We will develop a personalized treatment plan that works for your lifestyle and helps put you on the path to better health.
If you live in the greater St. Louis, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon or Maryville area, and are suffering from whiplash symptoms, consider booking a free consultation with Dr. Thad Vuagniaux today.